About the high prices. How short the summer is. The cold. The rain. The snow. All the people on welfare. That we can't buy beer after 18:00 om weekdays and 20:00 on Saturdays (and not at all on Sundays).
Norway might not be very exciting, though. After all, we're only 5 million people, which is like half of Paris.
Although I don't work there anymore, Opera is hiring, and it has a multinational workforce and English is the working language.
Other benefits not mentioned in the article is 5 weeks paid vacation and Norwegian management style.
That being said I wish I was a Finnish taxi driver in Norway instead of a Finnish taxi driver in Finland. ;(
My work is in a medium many people here would consider to be irrelevant, or even dying.
I'm interested in the world outside my current narrow field of work, I'm interested in how the concepts and ideas discussed here can help my medium stay relevant in this age, and I'm interested in the careers of the future.
My current work won't last forever, I know that, and the more I know now, the better-prepared I'll be.
I was surprised too!
I don't have any down arrows, otherwise I would post code instead of just a suggestion.
I absolutely would love to see the arrows resized when viewing using a mobile device.
None of those seems surprising since all those countries are, at least in part, cold, gloomy and snowy.
I once flew from Dali, Yunnan to Chengdu, Sichuan. From the plane's window we saw the moment we entered the enormous, province-sized sea of gray clouds over the Sichuan basin, leaving behind us blue sky and sunny hills. At the airport, the Sichuanese people said weather was really much better here. They actually prefer year-long heavy gray sky!
People complaining about their weather is not related at all to the quality of their local weather, which is not easy to define anyway. It is more a consequence of their way to see things. (Currently reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, it resonates...)
Considering a cheap apartment with 2 bedrooms costs minimum 2 000 000 nok.
A bus ticket starts at 28 nok about 5 usd.
Parenting leaves are very important since it is assumed that women should work and not stay home with the children. We also have subsidized kindergartens.
Healthcare is fair. However we have pretty much no dental and you only get subsidized medication if you need medication for more than 3 months.
Pension is ok, however it's just an economical model where you deduct peoples salaries and force them to save money.
And yes, taxes are very high:
High income tax
Wealth tax and also housing tax
You have to have a lot of money before the wealth tax hits you, and it's quite low anyway (if you have enough money that the wealth tax will hit you, you can earn more in interest having the money sitting in a bank account than you will be paying).
Things are more expensive here, of course, but not everything is a lot more expensive - renting an apartment here is similar to prices you'd expect in New York. I've never had a problem with healthcare, but off hand I don't know any company that provides dental coverage or vision plans.
The hardest part is the language. --Everyone can speak English here, but, like anywhere, the more of the local language you speak, the easier it is.
Yes, you'd might go down in salary, as hmottestad mentions, so there are pros and cons. People do live fine here on their salaries, so I don't think it would be a problem.
Among the minority in Denmark that works full time in the private sector, there is discontent with how the system works.
(I think it's a good thing that a country provides welfare to its people like Norway does.)
I assume in Norway it's no different. Employed feel that the [some] of the unemployed are lazy and taking advantage of the system.
I recently read somewhere that Norwegians are some of the most gullible people in the world though. YMMV.
Of course, the Big Mac index clearly shows that food can be very expensive. In general, all fast food is expensive. This is probably in part because there's no such thing as cheap labor here.
Does the Norwegian society as a whole feel this way? What about other oil-prosperous small countries such as the Emirates or Kuwait? Are the cases comparables?
What are the Norwegian govt plans for the long-time future when their oil is over? (it's long for that, i know).
For a long time, when a country became rich through oil, there were two paths. One was a fascist socialism in which the population was bought off with the proceeds, non-jobs flourished and foreigners did all the actual work (many of who were effectively slave labour). This is most of the oil-rich middle-east.
The other model is, horrifyingly, even less admirable. A handful at the top take everything, sell their souls to foreign oil giants, and everyone else is screwed over. This is Nigeria and chums.
Norway is the third option. Norway ploughs the money into a sovereign wealth fund, with long term plans. They've become world experts in getting "difficult" oil out of the wells which will see their services increasingly in demand around the world. Norway is a charming country to live in, despite being cursed with oil.
[Note - both countries have populations of about 5 million]
The older I get the more impressed I become with how this was, and is, handled. Especially when you see how it could have tourned out ..
That's the main reason why I think the North Sea reserves were gorged. A major shift was made to gas generated electricity (as well as being plumbed directly into homes) and a long term hope that nuclear was the future, which hasn't happened yet.
It essentially got the country through the 80s and 90s, and allowed a difficult transition towards services in time for globalisation.
However, everything is very expensive here, and starting tech startups is difficult at the moment.
I believe that's more than you can say for any other country and it's one of the best ways to invest oil money I'd say.
The town on the picture (Odda, Hordaland) was a major center of industry, thanks to the cheap power.
second largest sovereign fund in the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_wealth_fund#Largest_s...
plus all the investments into its' own people like mentioned in the article.
(it's long for that, i know).
not at all, Norway's oil is pretty much gone http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-03/norway-drillers-hit...
What about other oil-prosperous small countries such as the Emirates or Kuwait? Are the cases comparables?
Totally different. You know, in UAE they build skyscrapers just because they can. In Manhattan they built skyscrapers because there was no more land available to build on...
Norway is probably only country in the world that was able to dodge Dutch disease.
Living in Berlin now, feels like a much more vivid city with a much more heterogenous society. Norway is very collectivistic.
Is anyone really serious when they evince Scandanavia-envy?
Now, this is a case of national pride of course, but it really sounds like the author has heard just one side of a story here. My impression is that Sweden and Norway (like the other Scandinavian countries) are about equal in most aspects. That's not wrong, is it?
Norway and Sweden are virtually identical as far as I can tell. Though I haven't lived there, I work with norwegians and visit a few times a year since 2008.
Standard of living might be a bit higher, but not drastically.
Naturally, Salaries are a lot lower in Sweden, but so are the prices. Food prices in Norway are often double, rarely less than 150%.
One interesting detail is infrastructure. Due to all the mountains and fjords, building highways in Norway is super expensive. Lots of tunnels. Smaller roads tend to follow the natural, winding shape of the land, making them slow and long.
1. There are more swedes in scandinavia than there are any other nationality.
2. Young people move to the cities to find work.
3. Youth unemployment rates are high across scandinavia.
4. Ease of mobility across the scandinavian cultures. Olso in particular is close to sweden, and swedes understand norwegian with very little effort (and vice versa).
Thus, you have young swedes moving into all of the larger cities in scandinavia, including Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg.
No, there's a clear difference between Sweden/Finland and Norway/Denmark.
Debatable ;) But yes transitioning from Swedish to Norwegian and Danish is much easier than say, French to Italian.
My reply to another thread a while ago:
Whereas the nominal GDP per capita is huge (84k vs. 49k in Sweden and 47k in the US)
So yes, $84,000 is nice, but it's much much nicer in Sweden than in Norway in terms of what you can buy with it
And they are very, very good at it. As a result, Sweden seems comparatively more active, in terms of industry and business in general. They have a lively entrepreneurial spirit, and a lively Internet startup scene. Norway is still lagging in this area, perhaps as a result of having become docile by not having to fight for its economy.
In terms of living standards, Norway and Sweden are on the same level, and at roughly the same gini index. Sweden's GDP is about 30% higher, but Norway's is 45% higher per capita.
So while manufacturing is smaller sector than services in Norway, it's not negligible at all.
You can definitely see that in the indie gaming scene: quite a few well known (and good) Swedish studios (Mojang of course, but also Arrowhead, developers of Magicka or Frictional, developers of the Penumbra series and Amnesia). Meanwhile I could not tell you of any Norwegian indie game dev, I don't know any (I'm sure they exist, but I don't know them)
I've lived and worked in both countries and while Sweden feels like one of the rich US states or parts of EU, Norway has out of this world standard of living. Can give you countless examples.
A neighbour of mine was a single father of three children, the government (NAV) was paying his rent, bills, other expenses, vacation(!), etc. for almost a year. That was social help not based on previous taxes or income.
Most Norwegians (IMH experience) who are serious about gaming would work one year and live the next year on the extremely generous unemployment benefits provided by NAV.
You probably have to add some commuters, but they will hardly change the big picture.
Another, probably little-known fact, [I can't dig out a historical reference -- I remember conversations with people] is that Norway offered Sweden to jointly engage in oil extraction in the early days, which Sweden declined.
But looking out at a foggy and dreary Oslo right now, I'd say the time to be adventurous is when you are 24. Time to go.
I think Silicon Valley would be harder to start in, if not only for the (seemingly) fierce competition for VCs' money and because you might have to pay for the health insurance of your employees.
My goals is not to become a billionaire, but to build something great, and have fun while doing it. I believe the chances for that are bigger in Silicon Valley than Norway. If I fail, I'll move back and enjoy the wealth and rain.
A story that may be of interest; I used to work for a company called Aker Solutions here in Scotland, which is Norwegian as you probably know. The owner of the company, Kjell Inge Rokke, played to your strengths in Norway right. You are a maritime nation; read oil, gas and seafood. So despite no college education, he went on to work in your country's main industries and now is one of the richest persons in the world.
Looking forward, hydrocarbons are harder than ever to find. You'd imagine that geologists and the oil companies they work for will need amazing software. Importantly, they will be able and willing to pay for it.
(Are there truly places more wealthy/luxurious than this?)
But to answer your question: Liechtenstein and Luxembourg?
So, for all intents and purposes, no... At least, not for anyone who is not already ridiculously rich already and therefore you could live anywhere anyway.